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  • smover 11:11 am on July 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: android, Homescreen, iOS, , ,   

    What is still missing in Mango – Home Sets & Connectivity Shortcuts 

    Mango is coming very soon and lot of developers already have their fingers toying with this highly anticipated update of Microsoft’s best child. There’s lot of reviews already regarding this ‘Mango Beta 2’ that is spreading all over the world these days. It seems nothing changed on the main screen, which is a big issue for me. Don’t get me wrong : I am a big fan of Metro, and I love the tiles system, but it is doomed if it doesn’t change a little bit.

    Here comes two ideas I sent to Microsoft.

    1. Home Sets for the main screen
    I’m NOT talking about multiple main screens at the same time as you can find in Android, iOS, Symbian and Bada. These are quickly a waste of time (where is Angry Birds on my 7 desktops ?!).

    Windows Phone tiles are great, but it also becomes a waste of time if the list goes to long. I’d say that if it’s longer than 2 screens it starts to be less efficient and you don’t always find the right tile when you need it as fast as you would like to.

    Windows Phone approach is all about what the user wants to do with his device, so let’s apply this to multiple home screen.

    • You need a work home screen with the right tiles, your boss, collègues, partners and this CRM app you can’t live without.
    • You also need a private home screen with your familiy tiles, engadget app (finally available on the market!), ebay to find new guitars and so on.
    • You need a “kids mode” to show only the right game and video shortcuts when you give your WP7.5 device to your children to survive to long travels in the car.
    • You need a private home screen for your secret night life with some specific contacts and apps (“where is my car ?”).
    • etc.

    In fact you just need one set of tiles at once depending of what you are doing, and an easy and quick way to switch from one to another !
    To do this you just need ONE single button.

    An important point is that this solution won’t hurt your phone battery as you will always have only one set of tiles at once !

    Of course if you pin some new tile, it will show on the Home Set you are currently using.
    You can also imagine an easy gesture (two fingers snap for example) to switch to the list of Home Sets so you won’t have to move to the top of the current one then press the button.

    2. Connectivity Shortcuts (Android users should love that)

    This is an obvious requierment once you tried an HTC or Samsung Android device.

    What do you think of this ?

    • Lee 9:12 pm on July 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      You should have GPS detect your location and also time of day then it customizes the home screen according to location and time automatically eg.

      When you are in the Cinema ( use gps, clock and calendar ) : set to silent, and no vibrate

      When you are at work at certain time ( use gps, clock and calendar ): Sets all your work apps like the Office app, Notes apps, Calendar, To-Do list, sets phone to vibrate only.

      Out of country vacation detects location and also calendar dates ( use gps, clock and calendar ) : Sets your camera, facebook, map, travel apps

      When you are at the Gym (usses gps and clock) : sets music , running app, health app to the home screen

      When you are at the train station on the way to work (usses gps and clock) : Sets news app, game app, facebook etc etc.

      When you are in the airport (usses gps) : Turns celular off and turns zune player on.

      So you are allowed to customize or create your new sets of home screens, you can choose to use GPS, clock, both or manually switch.

      Just an idea.

      • smover 10:10 am on July 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Automatic screen change depending of your environnement is a really interesting subject ! Nokia worked on it few years ago so maybe we’ll see it coming to Windows Phone in a near future 🙂

    • Erik 5:46 pm on July 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I really do like the idea of connectivity shortcuts. It’s a real mess doing this the current way, this would be great. About that first homescreen solution… I think it’s a good idea, but perhaps it would be somewhat easier with larger buttons for switching or just a swipe from left to right to bring up the different selections which should be presented in a different way in my opinion. The idea itself is good. One for Work, One for Active life.. filled with restaurant-apps, social apps and such.. and one private. The games Hub already exist, so… why another one? 🙂

      • smover 10:07 am on July 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for your input !
        Regarding the homescreen solution :
        – It’s better to have only one available at the time than many panels like Android and the iPhone, because you save the battery, you also have what you need at glance and you move quikly from one to another without the need to search for ‘On which homescreen did I pinned the shortcut/tile i’m looking for ?!’. On my iPad and my Galaxy Tab I’m always wasting time to find the shortcuts, so basic multiple panels like iOS or Android (Sense & TouchWizz, whatever) is not efficient enough.
        Of course we could also imagine a gesture to switch from one to another, but the idea is really to have only one at once …as Windows Phone is today !)
        – In my example the “Kids” panel would not give only games, but ‘some’ games the kids like + shortcuts to their favorite medias (videos and music). So I wasn’t thinking of another acces to the game hub.

    • jeffrey brown 5:28 am on July 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      As for the connectivity button just pin the settings to the start screen and make it a tile. then all the choices are right there in one click. The home and work screens are a nice idea. but i use the live tile generator website and created tiles to seperate my home screen and I have seperation now. its really efficient. but i do like your idea. its real nice. if you want the link to the tile generator let me know.

      • smover 10:09 am on July 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Regarding the setting shortcut this is what i do with my Optimus 7 but it is still one click more than what you can find on Android. And as it’s something I use a lot it’s boring 😉

    • Merced99 1:24 pm on July 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I think a solution for the home page would be to be able to define region labels that you could place on eht home screen. They would only be a quarter tile high and would have text you define.

      The idea is like a line break that you could put on the screen and then when you hold down on one or have a region button it would bring up a quick list like the app alphabet search does.

      Something like this

    • Merced99 1:39 pm on July 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry if this is a repeat. What about user defined regions. You can define the labels/regions and then there would be a quick link to them like the app/alphabet search feature. Something like this.

      • smover 8:54 pm on July 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        It’s an interesting solution, but there’s small issues about user defined regions :

        • all tiles from all regions are loaded on the screen all the time (ressources/battery issues), which is not the case with Home Sets
        • it overloads the home page aesthetics which has to be as pure as possible

        Other than that it’s nice !

  • smover 7:02 pm on December 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: android, MeeGo, , N8, , Nokia E7, Nokia N8, Nokia N9, , , wp7   

    Nokia/Microsoft – How Mobile-Review.com can be that wrong? 

    I really like to read http://www.mobile-review.com ! The (in)famous Eldar Murtazin and his team give us a very personal view of the changes we are living in this constantly evolving mobile tech world. But I’d like to come back to one of their latest editorial talking about Nokia working on Windows Phone 7 devices, which you can read there : http://www.mobile-review.com/articles/2010/birulki-98-en.shtml.

    Nokia made some of the greatest cellphones ever, but since the N95 the company seems to be living in the past. Because while Nokia was trying to develop new features cloud services with OVI, while everyone was working on new operating systems from scratch, user-friendly oriented with new touch interfaces. Nokia missed the move and continued alone, trying to build in a hurry a touchscreen version of its oldschool Symbian OS while trying to continue to push their Comes with music stuff and so on. Of course they failed, because even if an iPhone in 2007 was only doing 10% of what a N95 *could* do, these 10% were done a totally new way  and after trying it you couldn’t look back. Nokia tried to add more and more features, and the result was the N97 : nice but a little underpowered hardware delayed because the software was late as always. And it was full of bugs when it came out, which definitely killed this device reputation.

    Now the N8 comes out, delayed by 6 months at least for the same reason : the software wasn’t ready, same thing for the E7 which has been pushed back to january at best. And what about the mighty N9 running MeeGo ? Was it out for christmas as planned ? Of course not. Was it a hardware issue ? Of course not : the software is to blame again… and again, and again, and again until Nokia definitely dies ? If you go back in time you’ll even remember that the N95 was delayed more than 6 months for the same good ‘ol reason. This is not even a new weakness from Nokia, but at this time the market could deal with it which is not the case anymore.

    Symbian was great long ago, but it was a decade to old when the iPhone OS (it wasn’t called iOS at this time) came out. Google could react with their Android project, but Nokia had simply nothing to provide. But they tried to improve Symbian, they really tried it bad ! I think to these guys working on this old OS, it should have been really hard for them. Because they were not Google, nor Microsoft, they were the software team of a cellphone company, and they had Apple in the hand of their users. Apple, which know how to build operating systems, software, and give developers all they need to express themselves with good tools to build apps. Nokia could simply not fight this amount of knowledge. That’s not their job, they don’t know how, and cannot learn fast enough.

    So what had to happen is happening these days : market shares melt, and Nokia cut the price to their high-end devices to contains the leaks. Doing so they get a lower ratio per phone, and this doesn’t help their R&D department…

    Which leads to the point where Eldar and I could not agree : Nokia needs Microsoft (a lot more than Microsoft needs Nokia) and WP7.

    Read this “Joining forces with Microsoft is a bad idea. Nokia had a strong developers team, which the company somehow decided to disband.” then think about the N95, N97, N8, E7 and N9 delay. A strong developers team ? Maybe that was the case in 2005, but they are not strong enough at all for today.

    Build a new Windows Phone 7 is EASY : specifications are standards, written in stone. You need a 1Ghz processor, a 800×480 3,5 or bigger screen, 256 (512 is better of course, look at me Dell !) Mb of RAM, a 5mpx+ camera with flash and  8GB of ROM or more inside. Which mean all Nokia needs to do is to upgrade their N8/E7 or even better they can grab the N9 as it is, change the buttons and logos and check with Microsoft how the whole thing runs ! And they no longer have to care about software development updates as Microsoft manages this part.

    Why no Android ? When you look at time and efforts spent by Samsung for TouchWizz and HTC for Sense, I don’t think Nokia is in the right situation to start with a new custom interface on a new operating system… Then again they would have to deal with updates and such things they failed to do in time with Symbian. An other issue is that none knows right now what Android’s future will be : v3.0 is supposed to improve everything (i.e. include a music player (after 3 years ?!), automated updates…) but what are the choices Google will take ? How they will choose to manage updates and allow specific interfaces like Sense at the same time ? There’s a lot of answers nobody seems to have, and looking at Android’s past it always has been this way. Google’s lack of mid-term vision for it’s mobile system ?

    Looking at how good it is already while being incomplete, WP7 will be a hit at the end of 2011 so the timing is perfect for Nokia. Once they’ll have their market share back they will have enough time to make a new system of their own, but right now they have bigger issues and WP7 could be the best way to react quickly.

    I can’t wait to hear Microsoft announcement at the CES in january and at the Mobile World Congress in february! WP7 should evolve very quickly in the coming months.

    What do you think of such alliance between Nokia and Microsoft’s best child ?


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